All Replies on Jointer and Planer Recommendations

  • Advertise with us
View twelvepoint's profile

Jointer and Planer Recommendations

by twelvepoint
posted 03-01-2013 09:19 AM

22 replies so far

View MJCD's profile


542 posts in 2397 days

#1 posted 03-01-2013 01:10 PM

The Planer is an easy recommendation: the DeWalt DW735 – it’s the industry standard, for excellent reasons. It’s portable (at 92lbs) and a workhorse.

The Jointer is another issue: I recommend finding a Powermatic 6” (yes, 6”): everyone wants an 8”; however, the 6” will handle 90% of what you will be working with, is relatively inexpensive, relative to the 8”, and you can get a mobile base for it at little cost (it’s a lot more mobile than the 8” would be). If you get the opportunity somewhere down the road (more room), go for the 8 at that time: but push the 6” until you can prove to yourself you need the extra inches – this makes the financial side more palletable.

-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View tsdahc's profile


107 posts in 2377 days

#2 posted 03-01-2013 01:55 PM

I also recomend the Dewalt 735 planer, it just works, blades are decently priced and you can generally find them on CL as well for a small amount less then new. I got mine with the infeed outfeed tables, stand and wixely guage for $400 in good condition. I perfer the standalond jointer and planer compared to the combos. They way I look at it combo machines, at least in the lower end, are a compromise of the two machines, while they will do both jobs theres some compromise. Mainly switching between functions and width for the planer. Right now I can run the jointer then imeediatly move to my planer only set up I do is the depth setting. For jointer I had a grizzly g1182 6” for 2 years, good little jointer, 48 inch tables. If i was running anything over 6 ft I had to use support tables as it would tip a little on the mobile base. I picked it up on CL for $175. Last month I scored a powermatic 54HH 6” helical head joiner with 72” tables and wow, this thing is amazing. I can joint 8 ft boards with no tipping, its quiet and leaves an amazing finish. The one problem I always had with my griz (and this is not just a griz issue but with the straight knives) is on wood with switching grain direction. I work with alot of maple and it often times has grain reversal with the figuring. The straight knives would give me a little tear out. The helical head on the other hand Ive have yet to have any issues. I even ran a piece of figured walnut through against the grain just to see what would happen and it came out perfect. So I second the powermatic jointer too but I add if you can find a helical head one go for it. Yes an 8 would be great but like you I am space challenged (and 220 challenged) but I can see this powermatic jointer and me together until it dies, no reason to get rid of it, its that good.

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2136 days

#3 posted 03-01-2013 02:12 PM

The width of a jointer limits how wide of a board you can face joint. Face jointing is necessary to remove any cup or twist or to smooth the face of a board. There are various ways you can “joint” a board wider than the width of your jointer, but I have each method lacking in precision or time consuming and never as precise.

Alternatively, you can rip wide boards to slightly less than the width of your jointer, joint a face flat and then edge glue the boards back together. Using this method when you edge glue the boards together you must keep one face of all of the boards flat. If one of the boards creeps up or down you may be back to the problem of needing to flatten a face wider than your jointer. This is the method I employ.

Now that you have one face of a wide board flat you can use a wider thickness planer make the other surface flat and parallel to the first with a thickness planer. This is why you want a thickness planer wider than your jointer.

I find that I am at the point in my woodworking journey that my 6” long bed jointer (Delta) is not wide enough. So I am starting to drool over the 10-12” jointers. If only I was rich!

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View twelvepoint's profile


38 posts in 1988 days

#4 posted 03-01-2013 03:21 PM

Thanks for the advice. Descriptions of your personal experiences help a lot!

The #1 issue I have right now, and for the foreseeable future, is having flat stock for panel cabinet doors. I think that could be handled effectively with a 4” benchtop jointer.

My #2 issue – not critical, but on my radar – is making a few interior doors. For these, I’d need a 6” jointer that can handle 6 1/2’ lengths, which would require a bed that’s 4 feet or more.

Beyond that, I’ll probably want – at some point – to do some tabletops and counter tops from joined pieces. That will probably be the point where a 6” jointer will be inadequate. At that point I’m really going have space issues and problems moving it into a basement, and my options would be either to roll up my sleeves and hand plane, or look into the 10” or 12” jointer/planer combos. I’m not sure I should be basing my jointer decisions around work I don’t even have planned, and for a tool I currently have zero experience with, but on the other hand, it’s good to have stuff you can grow into.

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 1990 days

#5 posted 03-01-2013 04:01 PM

IMO, avoid benchtop jointers. They are useless and frustrating. A 6” jointer is your best bet.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2556 days

#6 posted 03-01-2013 05:17 PM


To save space in my shop, I built a table that places the planer over the jointer. The jointer is on a mobile base and I slide it out as needed. The setup works beautifully, and takes about the same floor space as a combo machine.

You wouldn’t have to do something quite so long (about 90” in my case) if you have shorter jointer, but the width of the 8” jointer on a mobile base is about the same as the 13” planer. The height of the planer bed is about 52”. And that planer needs infeed & outfeed tables to control snipe, so I built them onto the table, solving another problem.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View MJCD's profile


542 posts in 2397 days

#7 posted 03-01-2013 05:56 PM


REALLY NICE setup – I will gladly steal this from you! At my height (6-6), the planer will be at the perfect height. Currently, I have the Planer and a Rigid Oscillating Sander on a mobile stand (lower than what you show here, but on wheels). If I raise the Planer/Sander height, keep the wheels, and place the jointer underneath, I’ll be much better off.

Nice touch on integrating the Dust Collections.


-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View runswithscissors's profile


2767 posts in 2051 days

#8 posted 03-01-2013 10:53 PM

About planer jointer combos: Both Rikons (10” and 12”) got quite good reviews in the 2013 “Tool Guide”. So did the 10” Grizzly. If you need to go larger, both the Grizz and Jet 12” got good reviews.

I’ve seen almost universally poor reviews of Jet’s cheaper, smaller combo machines, the 8” and 10”. I certainly wouldn’t consider one without looking at Amazon and the customer reviews. Amazon has the Rikon, too, and it probably includes free shipping.

I bought the Jet JJP12-HH combo (even though I’d settled on the Grizzly) because an incredibly excellent deal came up. I like it very much, and with a Wixey remote digital readout, resetting planer depths (after having switched over to jointer) is almost a non-issue. And I agree totally with the spiral or helical heads mentioned above. (The deal I got was in Auburn, WA, from a Jet/Powermatic outlet that handles scratch & dent stuff; I had to haul it—about a 4 hour round trip drive for me, but my understanding is that they do not include free shipping from that site, which would be pretty costly to MA. You can watch for a similar deal on the Seattle CL. They do come up occasionally).

It does seem odd that most people have a planer that goes wider than their jointer, even though there are work-a-rounds, which are always makeshift. But no matter how wide a capacity you get, sooner or later you’ll wish you had another inch or two.

Oh, if you decide to go with one of the larger combo machines, they will require 220v. Don’t know whether that is a problem for you.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2556 days

#9 posted 03-02-2013 06:51 AM


It was a pretty cheap solution, too. Built entirely from 2×4s!

I really don’t know why I haven’t seen anyone else do this before. Besides being a big space saver, the infeed/outfeed beds from one machine act as great staging spots for running stock through the other machine. Plus, grain orientation for stock coming off the jointer is exactly what you want for feeding through the planer. Just lift it up, no thought required.

Someday I’ll need to upgrade to a 20” planer and have to ditch this setup. I’ll miss it.

They are on separate 4” blast gates wye’d off a 6” drop. If were to change anything, I’d just use a single gate before the wye. My cyclone (a CVMAX) is way oversized for a single 4” gate to be open.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View MJCD's profile


542 posts in 2397 days

#10 posted 03-02-2013 06:15 PM


I’m thinking of upgrading from my PM 6” – I’m doing much more in the shop than at any other time – I’m semi-retired. PM wants $1,000 for the helical upgrade, and I prefer to not do the retrofit – the machine is 6+ years old, and investing in this size (it’ their low-end in many ways) at this machine-age is not my interest. I’m looking closely at the Felder AD531 (12”) jointer/planer combo.

That said, the jointer has served me well; was an excellent investment – it’s handled many a project; and will be again when I put it on Craig’s List.

My 1.5HP Delta DC is well-suited to my 4” runs; though, I’m now struggling with progressively more machines on the line: Bandsaw, Miter saw, TS, RT, Planer: all need access to the runs. My next efficiency is to eliminate the Miter Saw – takes-up a lot of gray space.


-- Lead By Example; Make a Difference

View GT350's profile


368 posts in 2007 days

#11 posted 03-02-2013 08:46 PM

I have had the Jet 6” jointer for more than 10 years now and I really like it, I wouldn’t mind having the 8” jointer for flattening the faces but the 6” works great for me and it fits the space much better than the 8”. I have an older delta 12” planer and that is the one I always really needed to be wider. After glueing wide panels together I always wanted to run them through the planer lightly. I solved the problem by getting a Jet 16/32 drum sander and now the planer is plenty wide enough and if I want to smooth a panel or door I just run it through the drum sander. The best part is that it is on wheels and just rolls out of the way.

View twelvepoint's profile


38 posts in 1988 days

#12 posted 03-12-2013 07:43 PM

runswithscissors, thanks for the reply. I’m entertaining getting the 12” Jet combo. It’s about twice what I THOUGHT my jointer/planer budget would be, but something like this (or the rikon, etc) are the only way I’ll ever get 12” jointing happening in my little basement shop.

With the whole jointer planer thing, I’m definitely torn between the philosophies, “get what you need now, learn to use it, and upgrade when necessary” and “buy the best tool you can get.”

View runswithscissors's profile


2767 posts in 2051 days

#13 posted 03-12-2013 09:18 PM

Just to confuse the issue, you can build a 12” jointer using the cutting head from a lunchbox planer. Google “homemade jointer.” The guy did a really nice job. The one part I might change would be to use an induction motor rather than the planer’s universal. More power, more torque, more durable, less noise. You’d have to do some adapting for correct pulleys, but should’t be hard to do.

Being torn between philosophies ain’t for sissies.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View twelvepoint's profile


38 posts in 1988 days

#14 posted 03-13-2013 12:56 PM

That homemade jointer is incredible. I wonder if there’s the potential for some slop with having the infeed table riding on metal rods thru plywood, with no bearings. I also wonder if the plywood infeed and outfeed tables are “good enough” or if they’re going to warp eventually.

Still, a really cool project.

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3787 days

#15 posted 03-13-2013 01:16 PM

Personally, I’m not a fan of the universal motor powered benchtop planers. They operate at well over 90 decibels. Your fanily and your condo neighbors are not going to appreciate your woodworking hobby. While jointing and planing with induction motor tools is not exactly quiet, at least they do not have the more objectional high frequency noise levels.

Many years ago when I started woodworking in a two bedroom appartment, I limited my woodworking to hand tools. Without the space or budget for stationary power tools, I found a local lumber yard that could do planing for me. I was as happy as a lark and made some nice projects, that are still in use.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View twelvepoint's profile


38 posts in 1988 days

#16 posted 03-13-2013 01:19 PM

Ok I was just doing some rough calculations and I figure:
$300 for the planer he disassembled
$100 for the baltic birch (probably more)
$50? for the 3mm steel plate
$50 for various hardware

I think $500 in raw materials is probably on the low side, unless he has a lot of scrap lying around or is really good at scouring craigslist.

I’m not very fast with this kind of thing, but I can’t see this coming together in less than 2 full weekends. For me, spending that amount of time, plus a decent amount in just raw materials, it would make more sense to look at the 12” combo units. Plus you’d have a tool that you could re-sell if you needed.

View twelvepoint's profile


38 posts in 1988 days

#17 posted 03-13-2013 01:24 PM

8iowa, my neighbors above me have bratty kids that stamp around at all hours. We’ve asked them nicely to keep it quiet, but to no avail. I just got a 5HP Clear Vue DC, and can’t wait to fire that up along with a noisy jointer. I’m thinking about getting a generator to power them all.

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3074 days

#18 posted 03-13-2013 01:37 PM

Contrary to MJCD ( sorry) I would recommend a used 8” joiner as 6” is just too smal.
Many times you will have to rip board just to be able to join it and then you will have to glue the pieces back together.
This is still true with an 8” jointer but far less frequently.
I would bet that if you buy a” joiner within a few months you will wish you bought a larger one.
I have a Powermatic 8” that I bought used and then I refurbished then I mounted it a Harbor Freight mobile base and it is not too big and it move around very easily.
Back home in France I used to have (and I still have ) a 5 operations combination machine,the joiner is 360 mm., the planner same with three 3HP motors.
Very fast it get very tedious to have to change from one operation to the other again and again and again. They save a lot of room and money but if you can afford the money and the room, different machines, I believe are much better.

-- Bert

View jonwright's profile


68 posts in 1963 days

#19 posted 03-13-2013 03:39 PM

twelvepoint, I have a Craftsman 5700 watt generator that will wake the dead – so with a Dewalt 735 I’m sure you’ll have no problems making your neighbors put their hearing protection on. Better yet my buddy has a Kawasaki 9,000 generator thats even louder (didn’t think it was possible).

I will also say, to be fair to the neighbors, I have 3 small boys in the house. And despite best intentions things get outta hand really quickly around here. Not sure what their paricular situation is nor yours – but if you don’t have kids I’ll tell you this: Keeping a handle on all that bundled up energy in kids is pretty tough.

I think the home made jointer is in the same category as many other DIY projects: Might be cheaper to just buy it, but it’s a challenge and rewarding to do it yourself – economics aside. I don’t see myself building one, but I see where he’s coming from.

I also found where a guy that made a band saw out of wood (including the wheels).

View Ziffster's profile


27 posts in 1921 days

#20 posted 03-19-2013 02:23 AM

Personally I struggled with much the same before deciding on the Grizzly. I preferred the North American style guard to the European on the Jet and know a number of people who had had trouble with the Jet going out of calibration and being a pain to get back in. Plus, the helical head on the Grizzly although not as good as the one on the Jet is better than most straight cutters and around the same price as the straight cutter on the Jet.

I worked with a DW735 for a while and although great for softer wood or smaller hard wood boards had big problems with large hardwood boards – tons of snipe and problems pulling the boards through and terrible tear out (the boards in question were 12” x 3” x 10’ white ash.

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2909 days

#21 posted 03-19-2013 05:30 AM

I had the Dewalt 735 and probably ran several thousand bf through it before I upgraded to a 20” planer. It is great, well made, and would have lasted me for years. I ran walnut, cherry, oak, and maple through it with no problems and little snipe. It is loud (and at 90lbs it is not really “portable”) but hey, my 20” 3hp planer is pretty darn loud too!
I have a 6” General International jointer. I’ve debated off and on about buying an 8”...would have saved me some extra work at times. That said, I’ve also learnt to work around the limitations of a smaller jointer and can get a board flat enough to put through the planer without having to use the jointer now, just with handplanes. If you have space issues in your shop remember that an 8” jointer is not just 2 inches wider, but usually has longer beds than the 6”. The combo machines are appealing, but I would be frustrated with having to switch between setups, but hey, I get frustrated easily (I don’t like taking the time to switch b/t dado and normal TS blades during a project…)

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View DavidNJ's profile


389 posts in 2019 days

#22 posted 03-19-2013 06:14 AM

A couple of notes. We had thread a while ago that discussed this ( It was determined that there were ways to use a narrow jointer or hand tools to setup a board for finishing the jointing face in the planer. The jointing edge can be done on table saw or a router table with a long fence extension.

The disadvantage of the combo machines was two fold: short tables and conversion time. Having seen several up close I’d say the Jet and Hammer are the easiest to convert…actually pretty fast. The longest part is moving the planer bed up or down. The Rikon combo’s don’t have a cutter head readily available. The Jet was on sale for a few days for $2860 with the segmented cutter head and shipping. When going to a segmented cutter head, the combo units can significantly reduce the cost. They also have much wider jointers. But again, short beds. If I was getting one it would probably be the Jet with helical head.

The Grizzly 6” jointers have short tables…as small or smaller than the combo units. The Powermatic 6” jointer has a long table, but costs more than the 8” Grizzly with an equally long table. Grizzly also has a parallelogram 8” jointer for $150 more. It has a long table that has an especially long infeed table.

Your shop problems are two fold: space for the equipment and getting it in place. The combo units definitely cut down on the space. Mark (above) has a really clever way to store the planer and a jointer. I wonder how he aligns his platforms with the planer bed.

I did get the DW735. New, with extra blades and the factory extension tables (which don’t fold up in the outfeed) cost $493 with shipping on a President’s Day sale. For the time being I’m using hand and power planes and a straight edge to approximately level one face then finish both faces on the planer.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics